Objectives: To describe perioperative bowel habits of women undergoing gynecologic surgery.
Methods: This prospective cohort study included women undergoing gynecologic surgery. Before surgery, participants completed the Bristol Stool Form Scale (BSFS), a validated instrument describing stool characteristics consistent with transit categories: slow (BSFS 1–2), normal (BSFS 3–5), and fast (BSFS 6–7). For 2 weeks after surgery, the participants recorded daily medications and bowel movements (BM), and completed BSFS. The χ2 test, the Fisher exact test, analysis of variance, t tests, and ordinal regression were used.
Results: Preoperatively, most (70%) of 340 women had normal stool transit, with 15% having slow transit and 7% having fast transit. Complete postoperative data were available for 170 (50%). Mean ± SD time to first postoperative BM was 2.8 ± 1.4 days with transit classification: 48% normal, 32% slow, and 20% fast.
Conclusions: Most women had normal stool transit both preoperatively and postoperatively. Time to first BM was longer after open surgery by approximately 3 days.